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Luca: All Easter Eggs & Secret Pixar References Explained

Pixar and Disney's new animated fantasy adventure Luca is packed with the Easter eggs that have become mainstays of every Pixar movie since Toy Story, alongside references to Disney classics and the works of filmmakers like Hayao Miyazaki and Federico Fellini.

Directed by Enrico Casarosa, Luca is set in 1950s Italy and follows a sea monster boy called Luca who discovers the surface world for the first time, with help from his new friend Alberto Scorfano. Together the two shape-shifting sea creatures explore the nearby town of Portorosso, befriend a misfit girl called Giulia, and take on the town bully in an annual triathlon - all while Luca's parents try desperately to bring him home.

Related: Luca's Ending Explained (& Everything That Happens Next)

Casarosa has said that Luca is packed with Easter eggs, including a reference to the upcoming Pixar movie Turning Red that he says is "very well hidden," but not well hidden enough as it is included in this list. Here are all the known Disney and Pixar Easter eggs in Luca that have been discovered so far, and what they mean in connection to other titles.

Click here to watch Every Luca Easter Egg Explained on YouTube.

Pixar's very first CG-animated project was Luxo Jr., a two-minute short written and directed by John Lasseter in 1986. The short film shows a larger angled desk lamp watching over a smaller lamp as it plays with a ball and then accidentally deflates it by jumping on it too hard. Luxo Jr. has since become the Pixar mascot and can be seen squishing the "I" in Pixar at the start of every movie produced by the animation studio. The original Luxo ball appears as a regularly occurring Easter egg in Pixar movies and can be seen on a rooftop when Luca is overtaking other racers during the Portorosso Cup.

Another long-standing Easter egg that has appeared in many Disney and Pixar movies is the number A113. This is a classroom number at the California Institute of the Arts, where filmmakers like Tim Burton, John Lasseter, and Brad Bird studied character animation. The train ticket that Alberto gives to Luca at the end of the movie has "A113" on it.

The fast-food and arcade chain Pizza Planet was one of the main locations featured in Pixar's first feature film, Toy Story. Since then, a version of the Pizza Planet delivery truck has been slyly hidden in almost every Pixar movie. Including this Easter egg was a challenge for Luca since the Pizza Planet truck model would be an anachronism in the 1950s. To solve this problem, the truck is reinvented as a Piaggio Ape, a three-wheeled delivery vehicle made by the same company that manufactures the Vespa. The Pizza Planet Ape can be seen during the final stretch of the Portorosso Cup, after it has begun to rain, and is recognizable by the rocket ship on top.

Related: Luca Cast & Character Guide: What The Voice Actors Look Like

Since A Bug's Life included a cameo from Woody in their end-credits to tease Toy Story 2, every single Pixar Movie has included an Easter egg that teases the next upcoming movie from PixarLuca itself was teased in its predecessor, Soul, where a travel agency has a poster in its window advertising "Visit Portorosso." The next movie after Luca will be Turning Red, a film about a girl called Mei who transforms into a giant red panda, and as Casarosa teases, the Easter egg for it is well hidden. In the poster for the new movie, Mei in red panda form is wearing a lanyard with a small pin on it that reads "4 Town." This is a tie into a record sleeve that can be seen behind Luca in Giulia's bedroom that is from the band "4 Villaggi." Villaggi is the Italian word for villages, and both occurrences use a similar color scheme with a stylized star in-between the number and the word.

The people of Portorosso might hate sea monsters, but they love movies about them. The town is covered in posters for movies, including a fictional movie called Attaco del Mostro Marino that puzzles Luca's father because the monster on the poster looks exactly like Uncle Ugo. One of the real movies featured on the posters is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which was produced by Disney in 1954. It doesn't feature any shape-shifting sea monster children, but it does have a scene with a giant squid.

As Alberto and Luca are trying to sneak into Portorosso by sea, they're spotted in their underwater forms by a woman on a boat. The boat is called Elena, which was also the name of Miguel's grandmother in the Pixar movie Coco. Elena is a common name in both Spanish and Italian, so this could be more of a coincidence rather than a deliberate reference. Still, it's fun to imagine that Abuelita spent some time in the Italian Riviera when she was young and that the boat is named after her.

Luca's references to Italian art and culture also include a crossover Disney Easter egg. A book in Giulia's room is Italian author Carlo Collodi's The Adventures of Pinocchio, which was adapted into Disney's animated movie in 1940. In the book, Pinocchio is repeatedly tricked by a pair of con artists: a cat who pretends to be blind and a fox who pretends to be lame. On the book cover and in Luca's dream sequence that brings the book to life, the cat strongly resembles Massimo's cat, Machiavelli.

Pinocchio isn't the only classic Disney character featured in Giulia's room. She also has a Donald Duck toy leaning against the foot of her bed. Donald Duck was created by Disney in 1934, so it would have been very popular in the time when Luca is set. Perhaps Giulia relates to him because they both have a tendency to babble and to let their tempers get the better of them.

Related: Luca: Every Story Reveal In The Pixar Movie’s Credits

One of Enrico Casarosa's biggest influences when making Luca was acclaimed Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini. In particular, there are several nods in Luca to Fellini's 1954 film La Strada. A poster for it can be seen in the main piazza on the same stretch of wall as the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea poster, and the fishing boat at the start of the movie is called Gelsomina, which is the name of La Strada's protagonist.

While the concept of a sea creature who grows curious about life on land and transforms into a human has a lot in common with Disney's The Little Mermaid, fans of Studio Ghibli films are more likely to associate Luca with Hayao Miyazaki's film Ponyo. Casarosa has said that Miyazaki was another one of his main influences since the Ghibli co-founder is known for his films about children exploring magical worlds. The name Portorosso is a deliberate nod to Miyazaki's 1992 film Porco Rosso.

As Luca says goodbye to his family and to Alberto at the end of the movie, the train that he and Gina get on has the number 94608 on the front. This is the zip code for Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California. It's a particularly poignant reference since Luca is heading off to school to pursue his dreams, and Pixar is a dream destination for animators looking to pursue their craft with one of the most acclaimed animation studios in Hollywood.

It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but Luca includes an Easter egg for Pixar's 2015 movie, Inside Out. During the race, as Giulia gets on her bike and starts riding up the hill, a woman can be seen holding a baby swaddled in a familiar-looking blanket and hat. Casarosa confirmed (via Twitter) that this baby is intended as an easter egg to baby Riley from Inside Out.

This Luca Easter egg is a nice detail to show how the titular character is able to make his solo entry into the race at the end of the movie. Before Luca and Alberto enter the town of Portorosso for the first time, an old bike is visible in the water. Casarosa has confirmed that this bike is the one that Luca uses to enter the race when he splits the team, which explains why the bike is covered in seaweed and dripping wet.

More: What To Expect From Luca 2

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